Racism in European soccer is a relatively common, but players actually responding to those chants isn’t normal at all. For the most part, players ignore the racist European fans who are trying to rankle them and continue on with the match.
In Italy, however, AC Milan players walked off the field when racist fans began chanting, thus abandoning an exhibition match in the first half with lower division club Pro Patria on Thursday.
The chants which prompted the team to walk off the field were all directed at black players, and they were continued even after the announcer urged the racist fans to stop.
Having had enough, Ghana midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng picked up the ball and kicked it at a section of the crowd in the 26th minute of the first half. Then Boateng walked off the field with his fellow teammates.
“Walking off was the right choice when faced with something like this,” Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri said. “We need to stop these uncivil gestures. Italy needs to improve and become better educated and more intelligent.”
The Italian soccer federation (FIGC) said, “We need to react with strength and without silence to isolate the few delinquents that transformed a friendly match into a mess that offends all of Italian football.”
Many soccer fans will also recall the incident where Russian fans tossed a banana at a black soccer player:
A Russian soccer fan threw a banana at Chris Samba after his team,Â Anzhi Makhachkal, lost to another team in Moscow on Sunday. To Samba’s credit, he tossed the banana back into the crowd. The Congolese born soccer player called the banana incident “an act of a stupid person.”
Boateng later tweeted, ”Shame that these things still happen… (hashtag )StopRacismforever.”